As-Salamu `Alaykum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuh (May Allah’s Peace, Mercy, and Blessings be upon you!)

I am a young man who has not married yet, and I intended to marry a previously married woman due to her beautiful qualities and manners, because she is the widow of my best friend (may Allah bestow mercy on his soul), a desire from me to participate in rearing those orphans, and to reduce the stress rests on her shoulders. What do you think and what is your advice on this issue? What is you opinion in details on dealing with these orphans? What is your advice regarding the dealing of that woman in general with reference to her first husband, her children, and the rights of her husband?

May Allah reward you the best.


As-Salamu `Alaykum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuh (May Allah’s Peace, Mercy, and Blessings be upon you!)

Marriage is the future social project for any young man and girl, and the issue of marrying a widow is slightly different from normal where customs state that a young man who has not been married should search for a virgin. Therefore, the following phrase of the authentic Hadith of Jabir ibn `Abdullah has become famous: “Why did not you marry a young girl so that you could play with her and she with you?”

This is true from the objective comparison, but people usually forget to complete the rest of the Hadith which stated that Jabir ibn `Abdullah only married her for his young sisters who were in need to a reasonable and experienced woman to take care of them. Therefore, the Prophet (peace be upon him) invoked Allah for him without disapproving that marriage.

Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) said to me, O Jabir! Have you married? I said, Yes. He said, A virgin or a matron? I replied: A matron. he said, Why not a virgin, so that you might play with her and she with you, and you might amuse her and she amuse you. I said, `Abdullah (my father) died and left girls, and I dislike to marry a girl like them, so I married a lady (matron) so that she may look after them. On that he said, May Allah bless you, or That is good.” [Reported by Al Bukhari].

Hence, it becomes clear that if marrying a widow is made for a permissible reason, it may become better than marrying a virgin who cannot fulfill this mission.

In your case, you have a number of qualities in your marriage such as:

* Showing loyalty to your friend.

* Desiring for rearing the orphans.

* Desiring for the good attributes of the woman.

The third quality in particular should not contradict with the previous two qualities meaning that if there is no need to marry her but showing loyalty for your friend and rearing the orphans. So, our advice to you is to abstain from this marriage for fear of failure.

However, as long as there are good and desired qualities in this woman pertaining to her personally, we advise you to marry her to win her, show loyalty to your friend, and to rear the orphans as well.

There is no harm in being previously married woman, for all of the wives of the Prophet (peace be upon him) were previously married except `A’ishah (may Allah be pleased with her).

As for the marital rights for her ex-husband, there are no other rights except the known rights such as the waiting period of the deceased, not to mention him except with good, and to take care of his children after him.

As for taking care of orphans and rearing them, it is a great gate of goodness, and traditions and Hadiths are famous and known in this regard; of which is the Prophet’s saying: “I and the guardian of an orphan will be in the Garden like these two.”

If the word “Kafalah” is released in the Shari`ah, it means the origin of “Kafalah” (taking care) at one’s home; glad tidings are for you for this good intention.